- Written by Joshua Williamson
- Pencils & Inks by Neil Googe
- Coloured by Ivan
- Cover by Carmine Di Giandomenico & Karl Kirsch
“Lightning Strikes Twice” part four! The leader of the science-terrorist group Black Hole has weaponized the Speed Force, leading to a final confrontation with The Flash and his new league of citizen speedsters.
Pickup your copy of ‘The Flash: Rebirth’ #4 at Comixology now!
Whilst other titles in the ‘Rebirth’ brand are continuing to languish on setup ‘The Flash’ is pushing its story forward with each issue. Four issues in to the new series and we have been introduced to new villain, Godspeed, added a new sidekick in August, endured a Speed Force storm and put Barry in the role to teacher to a whole host of new Speeders.
I’ve spoken before about Williamson and the ‘Rebirth’ team looking to rebalance The Flash character with Barry Allen. The two are becoming much more synonymous in this series. As Barry continues to relish his role as teacher to the new Speedsters, The Flash continues to deal with the fallout from Godspeed. Alter-egos have been easily forgotten in this series. Williamson is trying hard to correct the problems of issues past and it’s, so far, working well.
Interestingly Williamson is in many ways making the villains of ‘The Flash: Rebirth’ secondary to its heroes. We know that Godspeed will come to the fore sometime in the near future but for now the series is very much a villain-of-the-week format. The Black Hole group has been ever present but again their group has presented a new foe for Flash with each issue. The villains are also used as a metaphor for some of the life lessons in the series. With issue 4 the new Speedsters are learning to work together. It’s presented well without becoming clichéd.
It’s really great to see so much time being spent on developing its characters rather than focussing on its villains. Barry has taken a back seat for far too long. The romantic subplot between Barry and Doctor Dhawan is also a nice change from the usual Barry/Iris or Barry/Patty storylines that have been prominent in recent years. Writer Josh Williamson is allowing Barry to spread his wings rather than keeping him running in circles and the series feels incredibly fresh for it.
Future conflict is possibly being setup in the nature of how the Speed Force has affected the new Speedsters. It’s not been fully explored yet but Williamson has laid the ground work for some potentially exciting future storylines. Hopefully they take the time to develop the Speedster characters before heading down that path however.
Where ‘Batman: Rebirth’ is running at break-neck speed with the storyline of Gotham and Gotham Girl, ‘The Flash: Rebirth’ is slowly building towards its inevitable villain show down. The Speedsters are slowly increasing in number with each issue yet we’re still to learn much about any of their backstories. They are being carefully and strategically kept back for when the story requires them and it feels incredibly exciting to read.
The art of the book remains outstanding. Googe’s pencils and inks mixed with Placencia’s colours are fantastic. ‘The Flash: Rebirth’ is one of the best looking books in the current DC Comics slate. It’s sharps lines and angular models are still very new to the world of ‘The Flash’. Mixed with the deeply inky backgrounds and the sharp colours of the costumes and you’ve got a winning combination. Barry’s costume never fails to stand out but doesn’t dominate the book.
‘The Flash: Rebirth’ #4 is excellent. From its artwork to its story the issue is a success in every way. Mixing great story with stunning artwork there are no criticisms here. If you enjoy strong characters built around an equally strong narrative then this series is for you. There’s little room for disappointment and huge potentially for fun!